Unusual fare lures many to fundraiser

00:10, Feb 01 2010
GRUB'S UP: Mark Heuvel fries sheep brains, pig testicles and other offal at the Collingwood Summer Food Fair.
GRUB'S UP: Mark Heuvel fries sheep brains, pig testicles and other offal at the Collingwood Summer Food Fair.

Stingray, roast pukeko and barbecued sheep eyes were all on the menu at the Collingwood Summer Food Fair yesterday afternoon.

Now in its third year, the event, held at the Collingwood Recreation Ground, attracted more than 1000 people.

Once people had paid the entry fee – $15 for adults and $5 for children – all the food was free, with the exception of icecream and beer.

A wide range of food at the Collingwood Rugby Football Club fundraiser was caught, shot, harvested, cultivated, hooked and cooked locally.

Seafood stallholder Garth Strange said the stingray, which had been cured in a similar way to bacon, had been "very popular".

"We had about nine kilos of the ray and it was the first thing to sell out."

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Recreational fisherman Brian Gilbert, also known as The Sheriff, netted the stingrays near Collingwood, and said the fish were usually "a wasted resource" because many fishermen throw them back into the sea.

"The fish is really popular in Europe, where it's used in making seafood chowders and the like", Mr Gilbert said.

"And there'd be a lot of happy swimmers if people ate more stingray," he added.

Other unusual offerings at the summer food fair included pukeko, sheep brains, "Pakawau Ponies" and pig testicles.

The less adventurous gastronomic delights included wild venison, a hangi, mussels cooked in many different ways and, of course, Golden Bay scallops.

Penny Griffith, of Collingwood, said she tried hare and some goat but her favourite food was brains.

"It's very delicate and melts in your mouth," she said.

It was the first time she'd come to the annual event.

Ms Griffith said she would "definitely come back again".

The Nelson Mail